News

PHIA welcomes nomination of Leslie Richards as PennDOT secretary

January 14, 2015

RichardsGovernor-elect Tom Wolf today nominated Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards as PennDOT secretary and announced that current Secretary Barry Schoch would be retained in a temporary role as a transportation and infrastructure policy senior adviser in the governor’s office.

Richards, vice chair of the board of commissioners, also serves on the SEPTA board and is vice chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. She has an impressive private-sector resume as well, as a senior project manager at a civil engineering firm, where she gained experience with managing multi-million dollar infrastructure projects such as bridge rehabilitation, road repairs, streetscape improvements and other types of projects.

“Ms. Richards brings excellent qualifications and a great balance of private-sector and public-policy experience to this important cabinet-level job, and she was a vocal supporter of Act 89, the transportation funding measure that was passed in November 2013,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.

Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master’s of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Richards and her husband, Ira, have lived in Whitemarsh Township for 19 years. They have three children, Ben, Sophie, and Rebecca. Additional biographical information is available here.

“We also applaud the move to keep Secretary Schoch involved to assist with the continuing implementation of Act 89 and to assist the secretary-designee as needed,” Wagner said. “Transportation issues traditionally draw strong bipartisan support in Pennsylvania, and we’re pleased that the new administration is continuing that approach.”

 

News

Receive PHIA’s Communication Tools

January 7, 2015

It is time to re-affirm your desire to receive PHIA’s E-motion and News Digest electronic communication tools.  Please fill out a brief sign-up form to insure you continue to receive PHIA’s E-motion and/or News Digest.  At the bottom of the form you can select what you wish to receive.

Earlier this year, PHIA launched a new information service called “Weekly News Digest” which is released every Monday. This informational source will provide a short recap of some news links pertaining to the highway and transportation industries. We hope you will find this new product useful and informative and will be in addition to the normal E-motion Update. You can opt to receive this new product on the same sign-up form

Please be sure to sign up for these communication tools so we don’t miss any of our PHIA members. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

News

PennDOT ends 2014 just shy of $2.6 billion in construction lettings

December 31, 2014

NEW_PENNDOTPennDOT ended 2014 with significantly higher lettings as a direct result of Act 89—Pennsylvania’s new transportation funding law. PennDOT let over $117 million in projects during December bring the year-end total to just shy of $2.6 billion. At the end of 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.638 billion in lettings. Act 89 enabled PennDOT to put nearly a $1 billion more projects on the street in 2014 than it was able to do in 2013.

PennDOT exceeded its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion and it was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue well past 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding the $2 billion construction lettings mark for years to come.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full December letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

December Letting Report* (PDF)

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

News

Falling Gas Prices Will Have No Effect on New PA Funding Law

December 10, 2014

Price changing on gas signRetail gasoline prices have fallen to the lowest levels in more than five years, and many are wondering whether this drop will negatively affect the revenue available from the recent enactment of Act 89, PA’s most significant comprehensive transportation funding law since 1997.

The answer is no…but here’s why.

Act 89 did not change the fact that Pennsylvania’s highways are still funded by a user-pay system. Fuel taxes on gasoline and diesel remain the cornerstone of this user pay system. However, only about 11 percent of the actual price of a gallon of gasoline is determined by federal and state taxes. The vast majority is dependent upon the market price of crude oil.

The authors of Act 89 were wise in that they protected the state revenues derived by Act 89 and by effectively freezing the calculation rate used to determine that state tax level. Prior to Act 89, a large portion of the state tax rate was dependent upon a calculation of the average wholesale price of gasoline and then was run through a formula. An artificial cap was placed on this calculation formula in the mid 1980’s. This is the main reason Pennsylvania’s highway funds became stagnate because the cap was reached in the early 2000’s. Read more

News

November lettings push yearly total to $2.4 billion

December 2, 2014

NEW_PENNDOTAct 89 continues to push construction lettings to significantly higher levels compared to last year. In November, PennDOT put out over $60 million in projects.  This now brings the year-to-date total to $2.46 billion. At this same point in 2013, PennDOT only bid $1.571 billion in lettings. PennDOT has already exceeding its initial 2014 estimate of $2.2 billion.   It was reported earlier that PennDOT’s 2015 anticipated lettings will again be $2.6 billion.

With the recent enactment of the transportation funding bill there is reason to see this trend continue in 2015. Act 89, which will implement a $2.3 billion comprehensive transportation funding plan over the next five years, will result in PennDOT exceeding $2 billion in construction lettings in 2015. PennDOT finished 2013 with $1.6 billion in lettings.

As in year’s past, PHIA will continue to track contract lettings on a monthly basis.

To view the full November letting report and year comparisons, click the link below.

November Letting Report* (PDF)

*The report lists the total contracts awarded at each letting date, a comparison to the same period in the previous calendar year, and letting adjustments made since the previous month. PHIA staff will track PennDOT lettings throughout the year and provide monthly update.

 

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